Former President Clinton and Former California Speaker Nunez Stand Behind the UC Workers

In January, Former President Bill Clinton stood at UC Davis with the Sodexho Workers and pledged his support for their efforts to become UC employees. Now, over four months later, the Sodexho Workers are on their way to become UC employees, but their fellow UC employees are about to go on strike.

Both Former President Clinton and Former California Speaker Fabian Nunez have been scheduled to be graduation speakers at UCLA and UC Davis respectively. However, if the UC workers are on strike at that time, both have pledged not to cross the picket line and not speak at graduation.

In a letter from AFSCME president Lakeesha Harrison:

“Former President Bill Clinton and and Speaker Emeritus Núñez, scheduled to speak at UC Graduations at UCLA and UC Davis, have committed not to speak at any UC Campus unless a fair contract settlement is reached.”

A month ago, independent state appointed fact finder Carol Vendrillo agreed that UC executives could meet workers contract demands.

“It is not the lack of state funding but the University’s priorities that leaves the service workers’ wages at the bottom of the list… U.C. has demonstrated the ability to increase compensation when it fits with certain priorities without any demonstrable link to a state funding source.”

A stunning statistic that has come forward:

Medical centers are losing experienced patient care staff to other hospitals where pay is dramatically higher, and UC service workers make poverty wages as low as $10 per hour. Other CA hospitals and community colleges pay average of 25% more than UC.

96% of UC service workers are income eligible for public assistance programs including: food stamps, WIC, public housing subsidies, and reduced lunch.

Last week the UC service workers voted by overwhelming margins to strike. This week they have found powerful new allies in the former President and former Speaker of the Assembly.

Unless there is a good faith effort to go back to the bargaining table, the strike will occur on June 4 and June 5. Lakesha Harrison said:

“No one wants to strike, but UC Executives need to make a shift and prioritize providing enough to protect quality patient care and support our families. No one wants to get rich, we just want equal pay for equal work. UC is losing quality staff that we train to those other institutions that pay 25% higher, and many of us are living in poverty.”

Some have questioned a strike during a time of budget crisis and UC-wide cutbacks. However, those arguments miss a key point on the revenue sources. State funds comprise less than 10 percent of the funding for the 20,000 patient care and service workers. The majority of the funding is immune to economic downturn and budget crisis. It comes from the UC hospitals. The UC hospitals posted profits of over $350 million last year.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Labor Issues

12 comments

  1. I have mixed feelings on this one. Since we are in the middle of a budget crisis, it would seem an inopportune time for UC workers to go out on strike.

    However, we just read in the Davis Enterprise that the new President of UC is going to get an $11,000 per month housing allowance because this prima donna does not want to live in the housing provided. Thus UC will continue the upkeep on the residence it normally provides, and pay an extra $132,000 to provide the new President a different home more to his liking. The guy is receiving a base pay of something like $555,000 per year, or about $888,000 with perks. Let him pay for his own darn house, with that kind of salary!

    With that sort of gorging at the public trough, it is no wonder UC workers feel entitled to better. But this goes on in every sector of the economy. The head of the New York Stock Exchange walked away with an $800 million dollar retirement package. Some Hollywood actors get paid $20 million and up for work in one film – for about 6 months worth of shooting time. Society is not paying according to need, that is for sure. We need to get our priorities straight as a nation.

  2. I have mixed feelings on this one. Since we are in the middle of a budget crisis, it would seem an inopportune time for UC workers to go out on strike.

    However, we just read in the Davis Enterprise that the new President of UC is going to get an $11,000 per month housing allowance because this prima donna does not want to live in the housing provided. Thus UC will continue the upkeep on the residence it normally provides, and pay an extra $132,000 to provide the new President a different home more to his liking. The guy is receiving a base pay of something like $555,000 per year, or about $888,000 with perks. Let him pay for his own darn house, with that kind of salary!

    With that sort of gorging at the public trough, it is no wonder UC workers feel entitled to better. But this goes on in every sector of the economy. The head of the New York Stock Exchange walked away with an $800 million dollar retirement package. Some Hollywood actors get paid $20 million and up for work in one film – for about 6 months worth of shooting time. Society is not paying according to need, that is for sure. We need to get our priorities straight as a nation.

  3. I have mixed feelings on this one. Since we are in the middle of a budget crisis, it would seem an inopportune time for UC workers to go out on strike.

    However, we just read in the Davis Enterprise that the new President of UC is going to get an $11,000 per month housing allowance because this prima donna does not want to live in the housing provided. Thus UC will continue the upkeep on the residence it normally provides, and pay an extra $132,000 to provide the new President a different home more to his liking. The guy is receiving a base pay of something like $555,000 per year, or about $888,000 with perks. Let him pay for his own darn house, with that kind of salary!

    With that sort of gorging at the public trough, it is no wonder UC workers feel entitled to better. But this goes on in every sector of the economy. The head of the New York Stock Exchange walked away with an $800 million dollar retirement package. Some Hollywood actors get paid $20 million and up for work in one film – for about 6 months worth of shooting time. Society is not paying according to need, that is for sure. We need to get our priorities straight as a nation.

  4. I have mixed feelings on this one. Since we are in the middle of a budget crisis, it would seem an inopportune time for UC workers to go out on strike.

    However, we just read in the Davis Enterprise that the new President of UC is going to get an $11,000 per month housing allowance because this prima donna does not want to live in the housing provided. Thus UC will continue the upkeep on the residence it normally provides, and pay an extra $132,000 to provide the new President a different home more to his liking. The guy is receiving a base pay of something like $555,000 per year, or about $888,000 with perks. Let him pay for his own darn house, with that kind of salary!

    With that sort of gorging at the public trough, it is no wonder UC workers feel entitled to better. But this goes on in every sector of the economy. The head of the New York Stock Exchange walked away with an $800 million dollar retirement package. Some Hollywood actors get paid $20 million and up for work in one film – for about 6 months worth of shooting time. Society is not paying according to need, that is for sure. We need to get our priorities straight as a nation.

  5. Clinton,(former president) and Nunez support the workers,talk is cheap. Former President Clinton was an excellent President and did many good things FOR THE PEOPLE while in the White House, (he also did some things that he should’nt have while in the house).
    On the other hand fabian nunez is, and always will be, a self serving little pig.

  6. Clinton,(former president) and Nunez support the workers,talk is cheap. Former President Clinton was an excellent President and did many good things FOR THE PEOPLE while in the White House, (he also did some things that he should’nt have while in the house).
    On the other hand fabian nunez is, and always will be, a self serving little pig.

  7. Clinton,(former president) and Nunez support the workers,talk is cheap. Former President Clinton was an excellent President and did many good things FOR THE PEOPLE while in the White House, (he also did some things that he should’nt have while in the house).
    On the other hand fabian nunez is, and always will be, a self serving little pig.

  8. Clinton,(former president) and Nunez support the workers,talk is cheap. Former President Clinton was an excellent President and did many good things FOR THE PEOPLE while in the White House, (he also did some things that he should’nt have while in the house).
    On the other hand fabian nunez is, and always will be, a self serving little pig.

  9. As a student about to graduate from UCLA, I am terribly disappointed that our graduation ceremony, a special time for students’ friends and families, is being turned into a political circus.

    We were only awarded two tickets this year for graduation. That’s right – while most campuses get to have as many guests as their hearts desire, we can only have mom and pop sitting in the audience because Bill has to have plenty of elbow room for his posse of media and special friends. Last year’s paltry number of FOUR tickets was low – this is just ridiculous!

    Graduation is supposed to be a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments. Sometimes I am terribly disappointed in just how politicized every event at this campus manages to be. I certainly wish I knew about this coming into college…

    I can’t believe he would pull out just a few short days before one of the biggest achievements of our lives so that he can make a political statement. This day has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the graduates.

  10. As a student about to graduate from UCLA, I am terribly disappointed that our graduation ceremony, a special time for students’ friends and families, is being turned into a political circus.

    We were only awarded two tickets this year for graduation. That’s right – while most campuses get to have as many guests as their hearts desire, we can only have mom and pop sitting in the audience because Bill has to have plenty of elbow room for his posse of media and special friends. Last year’s paltry number of FOUR tickets was low – this is just ridiculous!

    Graduation is supposed to be a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments. Sometimes I am terribly disappointed in just how politicized every event at this campus manages to be. I certainly wish I knew about this coming into college…

    I can’t believe he would pull out just a few short days before one of the biggest achievements of our lives so that he can make a political statement. This day has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the graduates.

  11. As a student about to graduate from UCLA, I am terribly disappointed that our graduation ceremony, a special time for students’ friends and families, is being turned into a political circus.

    We were only awarded two tickets this year for graduation. That’s right – while most campuses get to have as many guests as their hearts desire, we can only have mom and pop sitting in the audience because Bill has to have plenty of elbow room for his posse of media and special friends. Last year’s paltry number of FOUR tickets was low – this is just ridiculous!

    Graduation is supposed to be a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments. Sometimes I am terribly disappointed in just how politicized every event at this campus manages to be. I certainly wish I knew about this coming into college…

    I can’t believe he would pull out just a few short days before one of the biggest achievements of our lives so that he can make a political statement. This day has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the graduates.

  12. As a student about to graduate from UCLA, I am terribly disappointed that our graduation ceremony, a special time for students’ friends and families, is being turned into a political circus.

    We were only awarded two tickets this year for graduation. That’s right – while most campuses get to have as many guests as their hearts desire, we can only have mom and pop sitting in the audience because Bill has to have plenty of elbow room for his posse of media and special friends. Last year’s paltry number of FOUR tickets was low – this is just ridiculous!

    Graduation is supposed to be a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments. Sometimes I am terribly disappointed in just how politicized every event at this campus manages to be. I certainly wish I knew about this coming into college…

    I can’t believe he would pull out just a few short days before one of the biggest achievements of our lives so that he can make a political statement. This day has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the graduates.

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